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TEXTILE ART: 
ETHNIC WALL HANGINGS
 
The appliqués are colorful figures and landscapes created in bold simplicity and decorated with beads, ribbons, even feathers, when appropriate.

     "I can tell you where every scrap of material on every picture came from," Ms. Smith explains, citing the example of fur on the cap of the Lithuanian male figure which was cut from a mink stole she discovered at an estate sale.  After a year of researching cultures and the history of clothing, the designer reshaped her information and images into series of hand-stitched textile panels.

     The technique involved countless decisions about fabrics, shapes, patterns, colors, and found objects.  Her method imitates the ways in which clothing styles develop as people use materials at hand, combining traditional with novel materials.

     The clothing in each hanging represents a particular section or province of each country.  The year mentioned indicates the period of time in which the clothing was worn on a daily basis in that particular region.

Skane, Sweden  1842

Skane, Sweden (1842)

The contact of the seafaring people of Southern Sweden or Gotaland, with distant countries influenced their clothing styles.   Climate was likely the reason for their choice of layered clothing.   The well-dressed woman wore as many as six skirts over her woolen petticoat, each layer shorter than the next.   Men often wore several pairs of trousers and as many as three jackets at once.

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